Essays on Technology and Culture

Mike Monteiro – In Praise of the AK-47

[H]ow many of us are asked to design things that have the potential of causing harm to the people who come into contact with our work? How many of us will work on privacy settings for large social networks at some point? Will we think of how those settings affect those who interact with them? How many of us will design user interfaces for drop cams? Will we think of the privacy violations they might cause? How many of us will design products that put people in strangers’ cars? Will we consider those passengers’ safety as we design our solution? And will we see it as our responsibility to make sure these products are as safe as possible?

And if we come to the conclusion that these products cannot be made safe, how many of us will see it as our responsibility to raise our hands and say “I’m not making this.”

— In Praise of the AK-47 — Dear Design Student — Medium

All of us who make things, words, websites, products, we’re responsible for what we make and the effects they have—intended and unintended. The sooner we learn this, the sooner we focus on the people who use what we make over the profit we can make, the better the world will be.